Reporting Information, Sharing Entertainment; this is what the Rise is all about, and how we stack our show every week.
Whitt Laxson and myself, Annie Hobbs, created the Rise, Middle Tennessee State Universities new infotainment morning show. Creating a show is not as easy as it may sound. When Whitt and I came up with our show idea we soon learned that thinking of a show to make was the easy part.
April of 2016 Whitt and I sat down and came up with the idea for the Rise. We wanted a fun infotainment show but we also wanted to incorporate hard news elements. After many weeks of planning and going back and forth on ideas we came up with a “treatment,” which is another way of saying a layout for the entire show.
This was when the fun part began; we got to film our pilot. Our entire pilot episode was done outside of studio. We gathered together some anchors and reporters who we were friends with and somehow managed to pull together a 30 minute show that was filmed in various places on campus including the Student Union, Mass Comm building, and of course the horse shoe. Within 3 days we had the entire show filmed and edited, then we released it to the public. Of course no one really commented on it because no one really knew what it was that we were trying to accomplish. This is when we came up with our idea to start launching social media after summer was over. A big lesson I learned from making this show is knowing who your audience is and advertising your show to that audience. The Rise was meant for MTSU students so we advertised in that manner by creating social media sites and following various organizations on campus to get our name out.
We took a break over summer and talked about little things like the launch of social media and out first episode and then agreed to meet in August. When August came we were back to work and our first task was to get the show officially approved. We first had too talk to the student management, then once approved by them we were directed to a faculty member to approve use of studio and equipment, which in this case was Bob Gordon. Getting in touch with Bob was a big problem, as you could see no faculty member wants to watch through a whole pilot of a show he knows nothing about. So we tracked him down and went to talk to Bob Gordon in person, when he watched the show he loved it and told us we could use whatever we would like. This was a big accomplishment for Whitt and me and so we went ahead and took that as a go to launch our social media and gather a crew. Getting anchors and reporters to be involved was easy but gathering a production crew (the people who run camera, audio, technical director, etc.) was a little bit harder. With help from Zac Leonard (a production major at MTSU) we finally gathered a production crew we could film with, of course with promising them gift cards for their assistance. THEN it was time to film our first episode, which included a live band for our entertainment segment. For the first show, since we had a band we invited various people to come watch live in studio which was fun. My high school teacher, and the person who introduced me to broadcasting, Jon Sounders came with a group of his students, which was a really special moment for me personally. Others including almost everyone who help put this show together were in the audience as well.
It may of seemed like this was a quick process but trust me it wasn’t. Making your own show takes A LOT of work and dedication. Being involved in this process taught Whitt and myself a lot about talking and dealing with different types of people not to mention time management and organization. I never believed I would do this but even the smallest idea can change your life and turn into the best experience. Personally for me any opportunity I get offered now I take because taking the opportunity Whitt pushed me to do made my Journalism career take off and I am just a sophomore in college. I would encourage every person going into this field to be open to every opportunity and event offered to you, you never know the exciting journey it will take you on.
Hello my name is Annie Hobbs and I am a sophomore at Middle Tennessee State University. I am a double major of Journalism and Political Science with a minor in Spanish. I am Co-Producer/ Creator of The Rise, Tuesday night producer of MT10 (a student ran organization which I have been involved with for three semesters), and I got the opportunity to be Co-Producer in MTSU’s VOTE segment this past election. I am also apart of a Greek organization here on campus, Chi Omega, which during my free time I volunteer my time there. I also have four dogs in which my heart belong too I got my interest in Journalism my freshman year of high school in Jon Sounders Broadcasting class. During my high school years I learned how to anchor, produce, direct, be a camera operator, and edit. Now in College I am continuing learning and improving upon those same skills plus more. My interest is more in hard-hitting news, but I also enjoy producing entertainment news. I hope to continue my journalism career out of college in either the entertainment or hard-hitting news field.
Hi, my name is Whitt Laxson, and I am the co-creator and co-producer of “The Rise.” I am a senior at Middle Tennessee State University, where I am majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in communication studies. I have served as a producer for MT10 News for two semesters and as an associate producer for one semester. My interest in broadcasting began in high school when I took a video journalism class my freshman year. I stayed in the program until I graduated and helped build a monthly newsmagazine show. During this time, I learned how to report, produce, and edit for video journalism content. With a background in performing arts, I have more of an interest in producing entertainment than hard-hitting news. This makes “The Rise” a great outlet for me to explore my skills as a producer for the kind of show I hope to work on someday.